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Peter Fitzsimons, the George Costanza of Australian media - reliably wrong, always

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite must be right!"

Jerry Seinfeld tells the story of Peter Fitzsimon's life.

Here's The Australian today.

Jones ignores FitzSimons’ rants

Cartoon: Johannes Leak.
Cartoon: Johannes Leak.

It’s all meant to be happy families in the new Nine stable of companies. Even reporters from the former Fairfax newspapers are doing the once-unthinkable by willingly filing stories for Nine’s 60 Minutes. But one high-profile Nine name has clearly not got the “happy families” memo: “Bandana Man” Peter FitzSimons.

In case you were in any doubt, FitzSimons doesn’t like Alan Jones. At all.

And he is making no secret of his antipathy towards his radio stablemate at the Nine-controlled 2GB, at every possible opportunity. That’s creating an awkward situation for Nine bosses.

Diary has made a supreme sacrifice by searching through a year’s worth of FitzSimons’ columns to measure the depth of this fixation with Jones. Our research shows FitzSimons has dealt with Jones in his SMH columns an extraordinary 46 times in the past year, and 25 times in the past six months.

The attacks have been wide-ranging, on everything from Jones’s defence of Israel Folau to his role in the NSW stadium deal and last year’s Opera House saga.

His most substantial recent effort was a fortnight or so back, in a column headlined “Trust me: Jones must go from SCG after Goodes saga”. Indeed, Jones’s role on the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust board has been a recurring theme. When ex-NSW Labor leader Michael Daley told Jones before this year’s NSW election that he would sack him from the SCG trust if he became premier, FitzSimons gushed: “Oh, how the people cheered!”

Unfortunately for FitzSimons, Daley lost the election.

2GB Radio broadcaster Alan Jones. Picture: Renee Nowytarger
2GB Radio broadcaster Alan Jones. Picture: Renee Nowytarger
Peter Fitzsimons signing books at the Word for Word festival. Picture: Peter Ristevski
Peter Fitzsimons signing books at the Word for Word festival. Picture: Peter Ristevski

FitzSimons also barracked for Jones’s contract not to be renewed by 2GB during his high-profile negotiations dating back to last year. Last October, FitzSimons concluded one column by addressing Jones: “The sooner you are excised, the better.” By November, he said of 2GB management: “They want him gone.”

By May, the wishful thinking continued when FitzSimons helpfully suggested to 2GB bosses: “He just might be more trouble than he’s worth.”

But just a fortnight or so later, 2GB signed Jones for two more years despite the fact FitzSimons was publicly scolding high-profile guests if they even appeared: “What the hell is Scott Morrison doing, so regularly going on (the) Alan Jones show in the first place?” he said in one column.

And what has Jones said in response to FitzSimons’ concerted campaign?

Not. One. Word.

Jones, rarely short of an opinion, has observed a stony silence about FitzSimons that goes back years. The pair’s history dates back several decades to when Fitz­Simons played first grade rugby under Jones at Manly. Jones famously later never picked Fitz­Simons when he was Wallabies coach in the 1980s.


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